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Old 03-23-2021, 11:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Fort Collins, CO
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Battery disconnect question

So we just bought a new Alliance 5th wheel with generator and 200W solar and so far quite satisfied.

But after storing the camper for a week the battery was dead and I had to jump-start the generator to recharge and operate the leveler. All lights, inverter etc had been turned off.

I also had a switch in the battery compartment turned off which was probably not a good idea when I have the solar system to keep it up. But anyway, I can not imagine that a sizeable battery should run out in a week.

Looking at the battery wiring more closely, I find 5 thick wires connected to the +12V post and only one of them goes to this battery switch. Not sure why it is even there and I suppose there must be a big fat parasitic load on some of the other lines. Does that make sense? Dealer service mentioned about 2 amp parasitic would be normal but I can not imagine the folks without solar charging have their batteries run out that quickly.

Should I just install a real disconnect switch on the battery post? Or is the wiring just buggered up?
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Old 03-23-2021, 12:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Different systems have different parasitic loads. One to two weeks is normal.

A disconnect switch for everything except the solar works. Perhaps a separate solar controller switch for indoor storage.

Again different power management systems have different requirement. A few need power to maintain settings. Often engine electricals are this way. Most with flooded cell batteries in good condition can be fully charged 14 hours and then disconnected for 6 months.

Keep battery terminal voltage above 12.4 during storage for long life.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:48 PM   #3
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typically the RV builders connect the Co2/ propane detector directly to the battery . These will kill a battery in about a week. I have 2 disconnects one at the battery and one the factory installed ( thanks for nothing) . I need to turn on the disco to run the landing gear up and have propane detector and the other one is the rest of the coach.
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:09 AM   #4
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welcome to the club. i think i found 5 devices in our 5th wheel that were wired directly to the batteries and we not disconnected by the factory installed disconnect switch. i put a true disconnect switch right at the battery negative terminal. now a i can store the trailer for months with no significant discharge of the batteries.

as mentioned above, i have to connect the batteries in order to operate the landing gear so i do not worry about towing the trailer with the batteries disconnected.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:51 PM   #5
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Hey, thanks guys for the information.
So it looks like the serious parasitic drain is kind of normal and everybody just installs their own full disconnect at the battery. Sounds stupid, but oh well.

I just did exactly that. Still thinking of leaving at least the solar charge controller connected all the time. But I am not sure if that wire is only the solar controller or if there is any other junk connected to it...
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:33 AM   #6
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On our Road Warrior there are 2 disconnects factory installed, one for batteries and the other for inside. Our backup camera is also wired to the batteries instead of lights so it can be used without lights. So leaving a disconnect on supplies power to the camera 24/7 along with other items such as the radio, CO2 detector and a few other items, big one is the residential fridge.
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battery, battery disconnect, disconnect

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